Montezuma Basin

High mountain ride with options to hike to two 14,000-foot peaks.

Total Miles
5.2
Plan with onX Offroad

Elevation
3890.81

Duration
2

Technical Rating
4/10

Best Time
Summer/Fall

Trail Overview

Get your lungs ready for this high mountain ride to 12,700 feet. If you're up for it, there are hiking trails to two 14,000-foot peaks. This rocky route stays above the treeline and provides gorgeous views. Designated camping available. Open May 21 to October 22, depending on snow.

Difficulty

Difficult. Rating based on one tippy, rocky stretch of narrow shelf road near the top. Most of the road is fairly wide and moderate. Rocky spot after Waypoint 02 can get tougher later in the season. Stock vehicles should have high clearance, low-range gearing and skid plates. Novice drivers may find the last half mile intimidating.

History

The basin above the parking lot operated as a small ski area for about 10 years starting in 1967. It had a vertical drop of just 200 feet and provided late season skiing, sometimes into July. It was primarily used as a racing and training camp. A rope tow serviced the area. Plans for a chair lift never materialized.

Access Description

From roundabout on Highway 82 west of Aspen, turn south on Castle Creek Road, F.S. 102. Follow paved road south about 13 miles and bear right at signs to Pearl Pass and Montezuma Basin.

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